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Butler County, KS

Butler CountyButler County has been a rich cattle grazing land since the 1860s. As early as 1857, the first pioneers looked down on the beautiful Walnut River valley and decided to make it home. At the center of the Flint Hills, the area has changed little since Captain Zebulon Pike noted the hills covered with flint rock cobbles during his 1806 expedition across Kansas. The Name "Flint Hills" had identified the region ever since.

Since the beginning a lore of cowboys, cattle drives, and western style living has entertained and amazed the area traveler. The first cattle drives began in Texas during 1865 when animals were driven to Kansas railroads through the Flint Hills. By 1885 the wild Texas cattle drives were over and 5 million cattle had passed through the Hills on their journey to eastern markets. The era of custom grazing of out-of-state cattle began, and today over 1 million head of cattle are fattened annually on the lush pasture land.

The peaceful tranquility of the region changed forever when oil was discovered near El Dorado in 1915.

Cattle grazing and bottom land farming gave way to the mixed economy of beef and black gold.

Several area driving tours are available for the interest of the photographer, bird watcher, fossil hunter, antique lover, fisherman or amateur historian. So treat yourself to one of the best kept secret in the land - Butler County, where rich history, breathtaking scenery, and adventure abound.

Explore Butler County

William Allen White Monument

The commemorative marble monument honors the Pulitzer Prize winning editor who was reared in El Dorado.

William Allen White

The world beat a path to the cluttered desk of William Allen White, publisher of a small daily newspaper, The Emporia Gazette in Kansas.

El Dorado, KS Monuments

Old Bank

The 1904 limestone building was originally built for Potwin'

Potwin, KS Historic Buildings


Butler County Courthouse

The historic Butler County Courthouse was built in 1909. Its Romanesque Style was designed by famed architect, George P. Washburn. Its terrazzo floors are still intact and reflect its elegant history. The first woman jury in Kansas met here in 1912.

El Dorado, KS Historic Courthouses


Stapleton #1 Historic Well Site

El Dorado became, for a while, the world's storybook oil field. Butler County encompassed 1,800 producing oil wells on 25,000 acres. The El Dorado Field is a story of men and events that helped Kansas and the nation emerge from the draft-horse and kerosene-lamp years into the gasoline age. "

El Dorado, KS Historic Markers

Rock Creek Stone Arch Bridge

Turn back the clock and drive across this graceful old bridge built in the 1880

Latham, KS Historic Bridges

Circle Gallery & Frame Shop

"Custom framing, original art, art reproductions and scroll saw hardwood gifts. Circle Gallery has served the custom framing needs in Butler County for over 33 years. From October through May the Gallery serves as the front door for the Iron Horse Concert Hall, a bluegrass and folk music venue. "

El Dorado, KS Arts

Post Office Mural

The U.S. Treasury Department commissioned the oil mural, "Kansas Gusher" by Donald Silks which has been placed on the National Register

Augusta, KS Arts


Towanda Area Historical Museum

Established in 1999, the Towanda Area Historical Museum is housed in the Historic Masonic Lodge Building, which was constructed in 1904. We are dedicated to the care and preservation of the culture and history of the greater Towanda, Kansas area.

Towanda, KS Museums


Explore Butler County